How can I lever up my shed to add bearers? (Ed.)

27 Feb 2024
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United Kingdom
Hi people, this is my first post on this forum, so I am unsure of this has been mentioned before. Recently we got a summer house built in our back garden. I said at the start, to the cowboy builder, can you build this on bricks I have? (I have a load of fire bricks left over from an old storage heater.) Oh, don't worry, he said, it will be built off the floor anyway. Stupidly I left him to it. So now the building has rising damp, as the wood is soaking up moisture.
I am looking for ways to lift the building, so that we can slide bricks under. I bought a pair of labour saving tool jacks, but they won't reach under the building, plus they are not strong enough to lift any part of the building. They say they can lift 800kg, but I have my doubts.
Can anyone suggest a way to lift the building six inches, even a corner at a time, so that we can put bricks under to stop this rising damp.
I should mention, we cannot dig under the shed as its built on a concrete pad.
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You need to get some wedges made and hammer them under to get it off the floor. Once off the floor, it will be easier to get some leverage in the space and go higher. You could probably make them yourself with a jigsaw and a 2ft length of 4”X2” timber cut diagonally from end to end.
Cheers mate, I didn't think of that. I was too caught up in the mechanical route.
The problem with the wedge idea is, the back and side of the building don't have much room to swing a sledge hammer enough to hammer wedges in. I could certainly try it at the front sides.
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I have attached photos. Pic. 1 and 4 show the lack of gap and 2 and 3 show the tight space at the back and side.

I am annoyed at myself for not insisting to this absolute cowboy who built the thing. I said put it on bricks!


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Some photos from further away would help too, to show what size were looking at and the context. Is it on a concrete slab atm?
If you lift the side walls, towards the back, the back will come up with them.

A shovel or a length of 4x2.

If you get a strong person to push on the side near the top, it will probably lift enough to get a spade under.

Get enough baulks of timber to hold it steady high enough to lay your bricks underneath. Put some DPC on the bricks before lowering the shed. It does not matter that the DPC is wider, it can hang down and any rain will run off. It is better if the bricks are smaller than the shed, enough for the cladding to overhang a shade and keep rain off.
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The problem with jacking a corner, is that it will put a lot of strain on the rest of the frame - better to raise it gradually, a bit at a time, all over. Could you lift floorboards, to jack the entire thing, a little at a time? A toe-jack will lift with very little space underneath.
Just use a lever, like a fence digging bar or large crowbar.

If you can’t lift it enough to get it started, then screw a bit of 4 x 2 say 600mm long onto the shed corner vertically leaving a gap below to get something underneath to lever up
My mate is a joiner and he suggested lifting the inside floor and using a crow bar to lift the whole thing from inside. I wanted to avoid this as it means taking out the vinyl flooring. I know we can refit this, but obviously I would rather not lift it at all. If it comes to that, we will have to. I mentioned to him about the wedges and he said good shout. He is going to make up a lot of wedges of differing sizes and we will try that.
I should mention, the whole thing is quite heavy. Its bigger than a garden shed and a lot heavier.
That's why photos showing it in context would have helped, you may also getting cracking of the finishes internally depending on what they are if you go jacking it up one corner at a time ....

Even when it's suspended in mid air you've got to get whatever it's going to bear on positioned under each floor joist etc. Lintels running the full length might be easier than some bricks.

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